soul has never been laid to rest and his family speaks of him frequently as if
his death only occurred yesterday. His mother considered that her beloved son
had been the first victim of World War Two. After Gareth’s death she always
wore the black of mourning: it was a terrible tragedy for her to bear. She had
lived her life through him and it was the stories of her youthful experiences in
Russia that gave Gareth the interest in foreign travel. To his father it was the
most traumatic event of his entire life.
remember clearly being told by my father that bandits in China had killed
Gareth. I was standing holding onto the banisters three steps from the bottom of
the stairs in our London house. I remember the harrowing journey from Paddington
to Cardiff by Great Western Railway with his ashes in a casket on the seat
directly opposite me. They had been brought back on the SS Rawalpindi to be
borne to their final resting-place in Barry. It was a cold December day in 1935.
There was thick fog, which delayed the train and the journey seemed to take so
many, many hours.
was born in Barry on August 13th 1905. His father was Major Edgar Jones, O.B.E.,
T.D., M.A., LL.D., for 35 years the headmaster of the Barry County School for
boys, respected and loved by the thousands of pupils who passed through his
school. He was considered by some to be the “Matthew Arnold” of Wales and
that great English headmaster described the loss of a son in these words: “Be
think thee for an only son what was that grief”. Edgar Jones, known to all as
‘The Major’, was the noblest of characters. He understood tolerance and
imparted to his students an understanding which enabled them to live in harmony
with one another. He was modest in nature and a Christian gentleman in the true
sense of the word. He had infinite interests and fostered these in the many boys
that passed through his school. Many honours were bestowed on him not least that
of being made a Freeman of the Borough of Barry. He was active in his support of
the League of Nations and was a man of peace.